A natural disaster is typically a weather phenomenon that causes massive destruction within a small amount of time. We don’t usually see them coming. However, luckily for us, technology has gotten so advanced that we can, to an extent, predict them.
Although the event itself is both terrifying and stress-inducing, we don’t usually focus on the after-effects or the process of actually living through it. Thus, we are going to provide you with a bit more detail in this regard!
For example, you have just received a warning that a hurricane is inbound within the next three hours. Apart from the normal individual’s panic response, what do you do? You don’t have time to be scatter-brained—you need to be proactive!
Typically, depending on the type of natural disaster, specific key issues can arise. Your power may trip, your geyser may burst after an earthquake, you may be trapped in your house for an entire week, the list goes on and on!
Luckily, there is a way to avoid all of the after-effects that come with the announcement of a natural disaster. How you do this is by creating your own emergency kit and ensuring you have household emergency protocols in place.
Insight Into Natural Disasters—The Event and the Issues!
Natural disasters will require you to think outside of the box, adapting your immediate surroundings into a place of safety for you and your family. Not only is the focus placed on safety, but ultimately on your survival!
With there being different magnitudes of natural disasters that can occur, preparing for one will never be a “one size fits all” approach. If you are used to tornadoes in your area, plan for them! But, don’t forget the possibility of torrential rain and its disastrous effects.
A natural disaster may require you to grab-and-go! When the alarms go off alerting you of an oncoming hurricane/tsunami, your priority is getting to a bunker or higher ground. Making sure you are prepared for this journey will make your lives that much easier.
Your research will determine which materials you need to gather for your emergency kit. Take a look at the weather once a week. Observe whether there are any major differences. Investigate the ‘why’, so you can be prepared for the ‘when.’
Research regarding a natural disaster goes further than just the disaster itself. You need to research immediate services available to you. Having a travel plan and house-based emergency protocol in place will most likely secure your survival.
The Effects of a Natural Disaster
Power outages are common with natural disasters. Whether it is the wind that overturned your neighborhood’s power supply, or torrential rain that has caused a landslide and damage to the central electrical powerhouse, you need to be prepared!
The effects of power outages are multi-faceted. You most likely won’t be able to heat up your food, take a warm shower, or contact loved ones due to the lack of Wi-Fi. If this occurs for long periods of time (and you are trapped), starvation may even occur.
Flooding is another primary cause of suffering when a natural disaster takes place. Not only does flooding predispose mountainous areas to landslides, but its disaster-causing potential stems further than a little puddle that you can jump in for fun.
With the failure of local drainage systems, floods have the ability to cause demise in those that cannot swim, direct structural damage to motor vehicles, as well as damage to infrastructure such as housing, supermarkets, and hospitals.
Both of the above instances may result in you and your family being barricaded in your house/apartment. With no way to seek medical attention, food, drinkable water, and toiletries, you will most likely be confined to the contents of your emergency kit.
Should you find yourself isolated in a bunker for a longer period of time, you may be alone or with other strangers. This experience is most likely to have a large negative impact on your mental health.
We can’t express the importance of positive self-affirmation and thoughts when living through a natural disaster. Preparing your mind and thinking about positive outcomes will lessen the anxiety and depression you may experience.
What You Need to Prepare
Non-perishable food items are a non-negotiable must-have when creating your own emergency kit. Natural disasters can last anywhere from two days to an entire week (and in some cases even longer). You don’t want to find yourself rationing your food stores.
Along with food, making sure that you have at least three days worth of drinkable water per person, will ensure that no form of dehydration occurs. Starvation and dehydration are two of the most common causes of demise during a natural disaster.
Medication, including your own personal chronic medication, needs to always be in a surplus of at least two weeks. You may be able to ration food and water supplies, however, rationing your medication will lead to devastating physical effects.
Portable chargers, including a fully charged power bank, are useful items so that you can remain in contact with your loved ones. We already discussed the effect of social isolation, and it just feels so much better knowing that those closest to you are safe.
Placing all of these items in a waterproofed bug-out bag will ensure all of your equipment and necessities are in one place. You don’t want to waste time finding equipment that actually works. This is why regular maintenance remains important!
Clothes and sleeping supplies will provide you with a degree of comfort which may provide a sense of calm during the storm. When you get sufficient, good quality sleep, you are able to think with clarity and rationality. This is vital to your survival!
We recommend taking one mental health item with you. This could be a teddy bear that holds personal meaning to you, your favorite book, or a necklace that your significant other has gifted you.
We need to be able to find a sense of stability during the anxiety-inducing effects of a natural disaster. It is for this reason that you use an item to ground you to reality. When you remember what you are surviving for, your faith and hope is renewed!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Why should I be prepared for a natural disaster?
A: Natural disasters do not discriminate on who it affects! It does not matter if you are from the richest town on the planet, if a tornado is coming your way, it will most definitely not go around you.
With that being said, these types of disasters have, in many cases, a rather high mortality rate. Being prepared increases your chances of survival. The better prepared you are, the greater your chances of overcoming nature’s temper-tantrums.
Q: Where should I go if a natural disaster hits my area?
A: Many cities have designated bunkers and areas of enforced protection that focus on the safety and well-being of its citizens. With that being said, not all cities have these facilities available.
Living near a fault line by the ocean may predispose your area to tsunamis. So contacting your local government authorities to find out what the protocols are should disaster strike, is the best route to take.
Q: What is the use of an Emergency Kit?
A: The purpose of an emergency kit is to keep all of your necessities in one compact place. However, keep on updating what you deem to be your necessities. Whatever you need for your survival, should be included. Grab it, go, and head to safety.
Q: How long should I pack for should there be an announcement of a possible natural disaster?
A: Most natural disasters may extend from two days to an entire week. However, the after-effects of the disaster are what remain for some time. Many people pack for a week, primarily because if it ends earlier, they have more than enough resources.
If your bunker is already equipped, or the city-based safety area provides meals, it may change how long you pack your bug-out bag for. Make sure that you have a sufficient amount of an item. If you think you’ll run out, pack a bit more.
The effects that any natural disaster has on an individual's psyche and ability to return back to a normal life, remains different in each individual. Experiencing a natural disaster is a traumatic event and this should never be discounted!
You have the potential to survive each and every disaster that comes your way. What will determine your rate of survival is the degree of preparation you have invested into compiling your bug-out bag!